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Ionic coupling of both polygalacturonic and alginic acids with alkyltrimethyl ammonium surfactants containing 18, 20 and 22 carbon atoms in the alkyl side chain was conducted in water solution to prepare non-soluble comb-like complexes. These amphiphilic complexes are arranged in a biphasic layered structure with the paraffinic phase made of alkyl side chains alternating with the hydrophilic phase made of polyuronic chains. The complexes displayed the thermal behaviour typical of comb-like systems carrying long polymethylene groups, which melt at temperatures between 40 and 80 ◦C without significant disruption of the layered arrangement. Melting temperature, crystallinity and thermal stability were
slightly higher for the polygalacturonic complexes and all they increased almost steadily with the length of the alkyl chain within each series. The melting-crystallization process was followed by combined WAXS/SAXS and 13C CP-MAS NMR, which revealed that the transition involves an expansion-contraction of the structure that may attain up to 20% of the original dimension. The transition takes place without
large conformational changes and is not fully reversible.
CitationTolentino, A. [et al.]. Comb-like ionic complexes of pectinic and alginic acids with alkyltrimethylammonium surfactants. "Carbohydrate polymers", 15 Agost 2011, vol. 86, núm. 2, p. 484-490.
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